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Actress and WH cover star Jessica Alba’s workout routine is one we’ve wanted the juice on ever since we saw how strong she looked in Never Been Kissed (TB, right?!), Honey and Into The Blue.
Not only glowing on screen, she’s known for gracing red carpets and even running errands around LA with her family looking effortlessly fresh.
So, we spoke to her long-term trainer Ramona Braganza; the woman, brain and body behind a lot of the fittest folk in the industry (oh hey there, Halle Berry and Jessica Biel!), to get the 411.
Having trained together for over two decades, since Jessica was 17, their exercise focuses and schedules have evolved from prep for film roles to pregnancies.
‘Covid has disrupted many routine exercisers, so Jessica’s goals right now are to get back into a regular workout schedule, maintain weight and muscle tone, and to use exercise as a way to reduce stress,’ Ramona explains — she’s only human, right?
1. Make your workout schedule work for you
It’s important not to put unnecessary boundaries between you and your workouts. We all do it, and apparently Jess is sometimes guilty.
To stop that, she alternates morning (7am) and evening (6pm) sessions, pre- and post- Jessica’s work at her natural baby and beauty brand The Honest Company, five times a week. So far, so doable! Not only does it fit around her career, but it allows her enough time to spend with her husband, daughters and son.
2. Alternate morning and evening workouts
‘Mixing up evenings and mornings is a good idea for variety, and also allows for proper recovery’, says Ramona.
Studies show both have different benefits, with one suggesting morning workouts help boost sugar and fat metabolism, while others indicate evening workouts use less oxygen so can encourage greater performance. It’s all about those circadian rhythms, people.
3. Mix up your exercises
‘To keep the workouts interesting for Jess, I mix up the strength training exercises in a variety of ways’, explains Ramona. ‘Sometimes it’s reps and others it’s timings.’
Ramona follows her 321 Training Method with Jessica, which combines bursts of cardio with strength training circuits.
4. Keep warm-ups interesting
It’s often tempting to skip warm-up exercises as they can be b-o-r-i-n-g, but they’re also essential for preventing injury. Ramona and Jessica ‘do a variety’, including sun salutations and dance, to keep things fun.
5. Trust your gut
It’s not worth pushing yourself if it’s just not what you feel like doing. ‘Sometimes when the gym is absolutely not what Jessica wants, we will go outside and walk the hills near her home,’ explains Ramona. BONUS: Getting out of the gym and into nature means that fresh air and daylight will aid relaxation and a peaceful sleep.
6. Don’t overlook the mental benefits
Jessica doesn’t only exercise to maintain muscle and strength, oh no. She knows what’s up when it comes to reducing stress the healthy way, which makes it especially important not to go OTT.
In between workouts, ‘Epsom salt baths, massages and meditation all help Jess unwind, as well as time with friends during recovery days,’ Ramona says.
7. Stay well fed and watered
Though ‘nutrition is something Jessica does herself as she knows her body well’, Ramona says, she makes sure she eats healthily and maintains hydration.
She keeps things simple; cooking with whole foods, like lean proteins and fresh vegetables, and opting for nuts or dried seaweed when she feels like something salty and fruits if she’s having a sweet craving.
8. Don’t skimp on the recovery
As well as alternating morning and evening workouts, ‘the most important thing to Jessica for recovery after workouts is to stretch and using her Theragun,’ explains Ramona.
‘Sore muscles will prevent good workouts the next day and she has learned how to take care of that through self massage.’
9. Allow for workout changes during pregnancy
‘Jessica’s biggest fitness challenge was during and after her first pregnancy as it was something new for her body to get used to’, Ramona tells us. ‘Allowing for the changes that were happening during pregnancy included some exercise that kept her physically strong for childbirth.’
Ramona’s 12-week program supported Jessica after giving birth to her daughter Honor in 2008. But remember: there’s no pressure to look a certain way, and that shouldn’t influence your approach to postnatal exercise — do whatever works for you and your body, and makes you feel good.